Owen G. Parry: ‘Fans of Live Art’ (17-01-2019)

Thursday 17 January 2019, 5.30pm. Gilmorehill Centre, Room 408.

This lecture explores Live Art as a participatory community of artists, critics, historians and fans whose affective, embodied and re-writing/re-making practices are motivated by a love and appreciation for live performance, but more specifically performance which distinguishes itself from theatre, and in some cases expresses a complete hatred for theatre. Refusing categorisation and discipline, live art has been described as an ‘explosive methodology’ (Lois Keidan) to include body art, performance art, time-based art, and endurance art (Dominic Johnson), but how has live art maintained itself precisely by distinguishing itself from theatre? Even when, as some have argued, such distinctions are defunct, what importance, nevertheless, does such distinction hold for the minority communities that form around live art and fandom? And what methodologies do the distinguished fields of live art and fandom share or have in common? Fan studies scholar Henry Jenkins’s premise that “fandom, after all, is born of a balance between fascination and frustration” will be applied to the think more purposefully about the shared collective, responsive, embodied, re-writing/re-making practices of both live art and fan communities, and to consider the latent subversive, world-building potential of a live art fandom.


Dr Owen G. Parry has an expanded theatre, visual arts and research practice, working on subjects including trash, queer performance, fandom, fascism and Yoko Ono. After completing a PhD at Goldsmiths in 2013, Owen initiated the ‘Fan Riot’ project (http://fanriot.tumblr.com/) exploring an increased resonance between fandom and contemporary art since the internet, which includes a fan club series, workshops, publications and artworks. He is currently undertaking a Post-doctoral Fellowship (Digital Scholarship) at IASH University of Edinburgh 2018-19 exploring emergent practices of hate and anti-fandom and their intersection with art. For more information, see: http://owengparry.com/


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